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Old 8th April 2007, 04:20 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default TS 2: the writing of the Bible

The writing of the various books of the Bible varies from simple to complex.

Consider the third letter of John as an example:

[3 John 1]
{1:1} The Elder, to Gaius, most beloved, whom I love in the truth.
{1:2} Most beloved, concerning everything, I make it my prayer that you may benefit by advancing and succeeding in whatever may be to the benefit of your soul.
{1:3} I was very glad when the brothers arrived, and when they offered testimony to the truth in you, that you are walking in the truth.
{1:4} I have no greater grace than this, when I hear that my sons are walking in the truth.
{1:5} Most beloved, you should act faithfully in whatever you do for the brothers, and so also for sojourners,
{1:6} those who have given testimony to your charity in the sight of the Church. You would to well to lead these ones worthily to God.
{1:7} For they set out, on behalf of his name, accepting nothing from the unbelievers.
{1:8} Therefore, we must accept such as these, in order that we may cooperate with the truth.
{1:9} As it happens, I had written to the Church. But Diotrephes, who loves to bear the highest rank among them, would not accept us.
{1:10} Because of this, when I come, I will admonish his works which he does, babbling against us with malicious words. And as if this were not sufficient for him, he himself does not receive the brothers. And those who do receive them, he hinders, and he ejects them from the Church.
{1:11} Most beloved, do not be willing to imitate what is evil; instead imitate what is good. Whoever does good is of God. Whoever does evil has not seen God.
{1:12} Testimony is being given for Demetrius by everyone, and by the truth itself. And we also offer testimony. And you know that our testimony is true.
{1:13} I had many things to write to you, but I am not willing, through ink and pen, to write to you.
{1:14} Yet I hope to see you soon, and then we will speak face to face. Peace to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.


It is only 14 verses, was almost certainly written by one person, and was most likely written in one sitting.

By comparison, the book of Psalms is over 2500 verses, was almost certainly written by many persons, and developed over the course of hundreds of years. David was the founder of the book of Psalms, and he certainly contributed to its text, buy many others contribulated over the course of many years, all under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Many of the letters of Paul were not written by Paul alone, but with other persons who are mentioned as co-authors in the text (but the letters are attributed to Paul as the leader of those who wrote).

A book of the Bible may go through a complex series of stages, involving multiple authors and multiple editors, but the process is guided by the Holy Spirit and the resultant text is infallible Scripture.

In writing the books of the Bible, the sacred writers made use of pre-existing fallible written and oral sources; such sources may have contained numerous errors, which are removed or corrected by the sacred writers and the Holy Spirit as the infallible text is being written.

More on this topic later.


Ron
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  #2  
Old 8th April 2007, 04:53 PM
sammy sammy is offline
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Ron, can we consider the protestant versions infallible or do they lose their infallibility when entire books are deleted and different wording is used? Sammy.
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Old 8th April 2007, 05:03 PM
Padraig
 
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Very interesting, I wonder does it help the reading much to know that there are differing authors???
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Old 8th April 2007, 05:21 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammy View Post
Ron, can we consider the protestant versions infallible or do they lose their infallibility when entire books are deleted and different wording is used? Sammy.

Let me broaden your question to:
Which translations and editions retain the character of infallibility,
and which lose that character?

In my theological opinion:
Translations which lose the character of infallibility generally...

1. extreme literal translations, called inter-linear translations, are useful for study, but are not Scripture. For example, a Greek-English interlinear NT is useful for studying the meaning of the Greek text (which is Scripture), but the English by itself is almost incomprehensible.

2. extreme paraphrase translations, are perhaps useful to introduce the Bible to some persons (such as children), but they are not Scripture. They are so loosely translated that they do not represent the Word of God, but rather the understanding of the translator. Such translations are more in the realm of commentary and Bible stories, than infallible Sacred Scripture.

3. extremely biased translations or edits: if the Bible is edited or translated to add or subtract substantially from numerous verses and passages, so as to remove numerous teachings offensive to the bias of the editors/translators, and to introduce teachings favored by the bias of the editors/translators, extensively, then such a translation ceases to be the infallible Sacred Scripture.

That said, most Bible translations, even Protestant translations, even translations that are overly literal or overly loose, even translations with clear and prominent faults and problems, are still Sacred Scripture and still retain the character of infallibility.

Furthermore, all translations, editions, printings, and copies of the Bible may contain errors particular to that translation, edition, printing, or copy. These errors are usually easily detected by comparision between numerous different versions, so that the particular problems of one edition do not cause the truths of Scripture to be lost or hopelessly obscured.

Most Protestant translations of the Bible are still good and useful, despite the problems of confessional bias, despite lacking 7 books and parts of 2 other books in the OT. But Catholics would be well-advised to make use of one or more Catholic translations for the majority of their Bible study and devotion.
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Old 8th April 2007, 05:22 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padraig View Post
Very interesting, I wonder does it help the reading much to know that there are differing authors???

It is of some interest and relevance. But the One Author is God, so the usefulness of this knowledge is limited. I can't think, off-hand, of a particular example where knowing the complex redaction of a passage may affect its interpretation.

Ron
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Old 8th April 2007, 09:21 PM
CRW
 
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Default Bible Code

Ron,

First I realize Catholic’s should based their faith on solid scripture; however, do you think that the Bible Code book’s by Michael Drosnin, are a total myth base on computer randomization or predictable equations?

Cecil
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Old 8th April 2007, 10:14 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRW View Post
Ron,

First I realize Catholic’s should based their faith on solid scripture; however, do you think that the Bible Code book’s by Michael Drosnin, are a total myth base on computer randomization or predictable equations?

Cecil

I haven't read the book, but I've heard of the idea of Bible codes. I am highly skeptical, since no one has been able to use this to predict anything. They only find these Bible code 'predictions' after the event. Also, they claim that the predictions in Bible codes are conditional and might not occur at all - such a claim is incompatible with the infallibility of the Bible.

Ron
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Old 9th April 2007, 01:22 AM
Matthias
 
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Default The Protestant KJV Bible

Quote:
Originally Posted by sammy View Post
Ron, can we consider the protestant versions infallible or do they lose their infallibility when entire books are deleted and different wording is used? Sammy.

There still exist many Protestant evangelical groups and churches that believe the King James Version (KJV) Bible remains the only infallible word of God and that no other translation is acceptable. Yet Protestant scholars themselves have shown that there were more than 36,000 changes (typos, minor changes, as well as some major alterations) that were made in the KJV Bible from its original publication in 1611 to its Authorized Revision in 1881.
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Old 9th April 2007, 01:38 AM
themilitantcatholic
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias View Post
There still exist many Protestant evangelical groups and churches that believe the King James Version (KJV) Bible remains the only infallible word of God and that no other translation is acceptable.

The Protestants have a major rude awakening coming.
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Old 9th April 2007, 02:02 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias View Post
There still exist many Protestant evangelical groups and churches that believe the King James Version (KJV) Bible remains the only infallible word of God and that no other translation is acceptable. Yet Protestant scholars themselves have shown that there were more than 36,000 changes (typos, minor changes, as well as some major alterations) that were made in the KJV Bible from its original publication in 1611 to its Authorized Revision in 1881.

Some scholars hold the view that only the original manuscripts (OM) are infallible. However, the OM are not extant, so this position results in all texts of the Bible, whether ancient manuscripts or modern translations, being treated as fallible. This position is incompatible with Catholic teaching.

Scripture cannot be broken, therefore, Scripture is not broken by the fact that the OM are not extant. Rather, it is the case that the infallibility of Scripture is able to survive the process of copying and printing and editing and translating, despite the fact that particular copies, printings, edits, and translations have errors particular to each version. The survivability of the infallibility of Scripture is due to the large number of different sources of Scripture, which can be compared to one another to distinguish the teaching of Scripture from the particular errors of particular editions.

The King James Only viewpoint is, of course, contrary to Catholic teaching. The KJV was prepared during a persecution of Catholics in England. It has a confessional bias. It has more particular errors than many other translations. Scholars of that time did not have the quality and quantity of source texts that we have today.

In fact, there is no one best translation, nor any one best manuscript. God did not give us the OM because He does not want there to exist one best version: 'these letters in this language in this order and no other.' Then people would worship the language, or the paper and ink, or other particulars of an individual version that are unrelated to truth.

So the variety of versions and the particular errors in anyone version keep us focused on the truth that survives across all versions.
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